ANTI-SLAVERY
SOCIETY

FIGHTING SLAVERY TODAY

Fighting slavery as a consumer

EFFECTING CHANGE — HOW YOU ARE INVOLVED
We are all consumers and, increasingly, the goods we buy are imported from around the world.  In this way, we are all involved in the exploitation of children.

A whole range of goods produced by child laborers are sold in the West: cheap skirts, shirts, the hand-knotted carpets so popular here, toys (which they will never play with), bangles, brassware, locks, glass and embroidery products, polystyrene cups, matches and textiles.

WHAT CAN I DO?
Everyone is talking about  “globalization”.  Some people think it is good.  Others are more doubtful.  The Society recognizes that in today’s world the market and globalization can be as powerful a tool as any for improving the conditions of children around the world.  As a consumer you can help in the following ways:

  • refuse to buy products that have been made by exploited child labor;

  • write to the management of your local store asking them about products you think may have been made with child labor;

  • if you are buying, or thinking of buying, a hand-knotted carpet ask the retailer for a guarantee that the carpet was not produced by exploited child labor.  Ask them how they check on their suppliers;

  • ask your retailer whether they can supply carpets bearing the “Rugmark”;

  • support carpet retailers who sell “Rugmark” carpets;

  • buy products, as far as possible, that give a fair return to those who work to produce them.

The Society publishes a Consumer Alert listing products made by child labor and is working with a number of reputable retailers and importers on the problem.

The Society’s aim is to stir our conscience by pointing out that some of the products which we purchase are made by these child laborers.  Child labor is not just a problem for the people of distant countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America.  It is also a problem for us, because by using products made by children we are the unwitting beneficiaries of child labor.

In addition, the Society is promoting "Rugmark" carpets — hand-woven carpets, which carry a guarantee against the use of child labor — in preference to carpets made by children (some as young as four years of age).

As long as we do not care whether or not the products which we purchase are made by child labor, governments will continue to avert their eyes from the plight of these children.


Further Information

For more information, read the Society’s publications entitled Myths and Facts About Child Labor ($2.90) and Survey of Child Labor in Asia ($15.50).  Prices include postage.

 

Links to other pages dealing with consumer awareness:

Get involved!

Current campaigns

Consumer awareness

Goods made by child labor

Chocolates

Diamonds

Carpets made by child labor

Rugmark

Ethical investment

Fair trade

Society's overseas programs in Africa and Asia


for the content of external internet sites. 

SLAVERY SLAVE
TRADE
HUMAN
SACRIFICE

BONDED
LABOR

HIERODULIC
SERVITUDE

TRAFFICKING

CHILD
LABOR

  2003 by the Anti-Slavery Society. The text on any page may be reproduced provided that the source is acknowledged.  This does not apply to photos.